BP wants to pump one billion US dollars into the development of charging infrastructure in the USA by 2030. Part of this investment will go towards the construction of charging facilities at the car rental company Hertz. Both players are planning a US-wide fast charging network at Hertz locations.
Both the announcement of the billion-dollar investment (the equivalent of around 930 million euros) and the now concrete expansion of charging infrastructure at Hertz branches raise eyebrows, but fit into the current context: BP, for example, had only recently ordered fast-charging stations from Tritium on a scale that is new territory for the Australian manufacturer. In parallel, Hertz is steadily expanding its EV fleet and at the turn of the year had 48,344 Tesla vehicles in its range alone – almost all of them in the USA.
BP says it currently operates 22,000 charging points worldwide and, with the investments announced above, aims to have more than 100,000 charging points worldwide by 2030, 90 per cent of which will be fast or ultra-fast connections. A major cornerstone of this is to be the expansion at Hertz locations in major US cities. So far, the partners have named Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Miami, New York City, Orlando, Phoenix, San Francisco and Washington, DC. The expansion will be supported by telematics data from the networked Hertz fleet. The two sides had already signed a memorandum of understanding in September 2022 to build such a US-wide fast-charging network at Hertz locations.
Some of BP’s fast-charging locations will be called ‘gigahubs‘. By this, the Group means large “hubs will serve rideshare and taxi drivers, car rental customers and the general public at high-demand locations, such as airports”. One of these large fast-charging locations is to be built at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in collaboration with Hertz. However, the duo does not give an exact number of planned connections.
“This is about more, faster. We’re bringing more, fast-charging options to more Americans for faster EV adoption,” says Dave Lawler, chairman and president of BP America. BP’s announcement, incidentally, comes alongside the US government’s announcement of final requirements for eligible charging infrastructure, including an agreement with Tesla on Supercharger eligibility.
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“As Hertz builds the largest EV rental fleet in North America, it is essential that our millions of customers — including leisure and business travelers, rideshare drivers and corporate clients – have access to a national network of reliable, fast chargers,” commented Stephen Scherr, chairman and CEO of Hertz. “We are excited to be working with bp to build out charging at Hertz locations across the country, and to leverage telematic insights from the Hertz fleet to ensure that charging is located at the places where our customers need it most.”
Hertz is reportedly aiming to provide 50,000 of the 100,000 electric cars ordered from Tesla in 2021 to Uber drivers in the US. Hertz plans to rent another 25,000 electric cars to Uber drivers in European capitals, including models from Tesla and Polestar. The car rental company had contracted Polestar to supply up to 65,000 electric cars. Hertz placed another order for up to 175,000 electric cars with General Motors.
Despite the infrastructure ramp-up, the integration of electric cars does not seem to be going entirely smoothly: As reported a week ago, Hertz has not yet received even half of the 100,000 electric cars ordered from Tesla. Originally, all 100,000 Tesla Model 3s were to be delivered by the end of 2022. The background is open. However, the car rental company still emphasises that it has tens of thousands of electric vehicles at more than 750 Hertz locations in 38 US states and is pursuing the goal of equipping a quarter of its fleet with electric vehicles by the end of 2024.